Qua Venus et Juno. The story here alluded to, is one of the most remarkable in antiquity. From this seemingly small beginning, arose the rape of Helen, the confederacy of the Greeks, the overthrow of Troy, and the dispersion of the victorious fleet, whence so many Grecian colonies were planted in different parts of the world. The story itself was of the following tenor. The gods and goddesses being invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, Discord only was overlooked. The goddess, enraged at the neglect, waited for an opportunity of revenge. With this view, while Jupiter, Juno, Venus, and Pallas, were sitting together, she threw an apple amongst them, on which were written these words; 'Let it be given to the fairest.' Upon this a dispute arose, which of the three goddesses had the best pretension to the prize; for, as it is natural to be partial in our own cause, each maintained that it could belong only to her. Jupiter, unwilling to decide in a matter so nice and intricate, as foreseeing that to whichsoever candidate it was adjudged, he must incur the displeasure of the other two, referred them to the determination of Paris. This youth had been bred up among Priam's shepherds, and was at that time attending the flocks on mount Ida. Thither the goddesses repaired; and, as they were eagerly bent upon the prize, each endeavored to influence his decision by large offers. Juno promised him a kingdom; Pallas, wisdom and prudence; and Venus, the finest woman in the world. Paris gave sentence in favor of Venus, either from a regard to justice, or because her promises bestsuited his temper. Soon after, he was acknowleged by Priam; and, being sent ambas-ador to Sparta, was received in a hospitable and friendly manner by Menclaus the king. Being captivated by the beauty of Helen, and having gained her by his artifices and solicitations, he perfidiously carried her off, while her husband Menelaus was in Crete. This gave rise to the Trojan was, and all the memorable events that attended it; in which the gods and goddesses bore so large a share. Oenone therefore had just reason to complain of this fatal day, because it eventually deprived her of her beloved husband.
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